Regardless of Party Affiliation, Elections Affect the Future of Cleantech
Denver, Colorado – November 1, 2012 – Ecotech Institute, the first and only college focused entirely on preparing America’s workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainability, has put together five things to consider this political season.
“We strongly encourage our students to educate themselves in every way possible about how policy affects cleantech industries,” says Michael Seifert, president of Ecotech Institute. “Regardless of political affiliation, one thing remains consistent – every vote has implications and everyone must educate themselves about who to support and the possibilities of each vote.”
Some ways to do that include:
1. Read sources that outline candidate’s stance on cleantech issues. While different media take different views on politicians’ positions, take the time to listen or read each candidate’s beliefs and plans. Go to the candidate’s website and seek out third-party sources, such as Science Debate, which weighs science-related responses: http://www.sciencedebate.org/debate12/.
2. Fact-check everything a candidate says. While it may be difficult to find politically neutral sources, they do exist. Here is a list of fact-checking websites: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/elections/list-fact-checking-websites.
3. Practice “big picture” thinking. When politicians discuss their beliefs, policies and practices, apply your knowledge of history, science, philosophy, anthropology and more to understand the implications of what they are saying. In addition, what are they saying they will or will not do that will truly impact our planet? Here is a related blog post aptly named, “What is Crucial?” http://www.ecotechinstitute.com/blog/post.cfm/what-is-crucial.
4. Don’t ignore the connection between a “green state of mind” and politics. Policy affects innovation, job creation, funding sources and more – many of which fuel the cleantech sector. Understand the connection so you can better deduce the implications of each vote. Here is an Ecotech blog post on this topic: http://www.ecotechinstitute.com/blog/post.cfm/the-politics-of-the-environment.
5. Take a look at pending legislation and read about its impact. While there are a variety of state and national bills to watch, many organizations like the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association outline public policy issues to keep an eye on like this: http://www.coloradocleantech.com/public_policy.html.
The future of the cleantech industries relies on politicians, businesses and voters to come together and align on what will make a positive difference for our communities and planet. Education is important in every election and that time is now.